- CFI Score 4/10 — We predict a solid weekend for the Sony revenue sharing import at about $15 million
- Morgan Freeman’s fame in China will help ‘London’ outgross ‘Olympus Has Fallen‘ 2013 China run
- Zootopia will pass Avengers: Age of Ultron on Friday to become Disney’s highest-grossing film ever in China
Actor Gerard Butler and director Babak Najaf at the Chinese premiere of London Has Fallen (Official Weibo)
This weekend’s sole major new release — London Has Fallen (伦敦陷落), the action-thriller sequel to 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen—will try to reignite the Chinese box office after Batman v Superman’s epic flameout and a less-than-scorching Tomb Sweeping Holiday plunged April into a chilly start. Below, CFI takes a look at several key factors that will influence London‘s box office potential.
London Has Fallen enters Chinese cinemas as a revenue-sharing import from Sony Pictures. The studio has had difficulty finding traction with mainstream Chinese audiences of late with Spectre the last film to register any sort of box office might nearly six months ago.
London Has Fallen will extend the studio’s weak streak, but its high-octane action and disaster set pieces should help it to find audiences in the China’s lower-tiered cities. In that respect, the film will perform more in line with “buy-out” action films such as The Transporter Refueled (RMB 117 million) or The Last Witch Hunter (RMB 179 million) than with typical revenue-sharing action films.
Release Date 5/10
Entering the market during a lull will certainly give London an edge— it will open on 32% of China’s screens — but it will essentially have just seven days of market dominance before another potential breakout hit for Disney, The Jungle Book, opens next Friday, April 15. Local films New York, New York (纽约纽约) and Lost in White (冰河追凶) will also significantly cut into London’s screen share next week.
Celebrity Power 4/10
The most well-known actor in London Has Fallen for Chinese audiences is Morgan Freeman, who many still admire for his role in The Shawshank Redemption. Freeman alone however won’t draw in moviegoers like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson did in 2015 with San Andreas (RMB 633 million) — the last disaster flick to hit China.
CFI Score 4/10
CFI predicts a solid weekend victory for London Has Fallen in the RMB 100 million range (~$15 million), easily outgrossing its predecessor’s entire run of RMB 40.2 million from 2013. Its final tally will be determined by how well it holds during the week leading up to The Jungle Book’s release.
Other box office worthy mentions for this weekend: Zootopia will pass Avengers: Age of Ultron on Friday to become Disney’s highest-grossing film ever in China (who saw that coming?!). Meanwhile, Batman v Superman will tank another 70%-80% from last weekend and will stall just shy of $100 million. (again, who saw that coming?).